Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A former senior Swiss bank executive said on Monday that he had given the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, details of more than 2,000 prominent individuals and companies that he contends engaged in tax evasion and other possible criminal activity


Alfredo Triff

This piece of news in the New York Times:
Rudolf M. Elmer, who ran the Caribbean operations of the Swiss bank Julius Baer for eight years until he was dismissed in 2002, refused to identify any of the individuals or companies, but he told reporters at a news conference that about 40 politicians and “pillars of society” were among them.
According to the article, "those named in the documents come from 'the U.S., Britain, Germany, Austria and Asia — from all over,' and include 'business people, politicians, people who have made their living in the arts and multinational conglomerates — from both sides of the Atlantic.'" 1

How should one react to this new development? Obviously, 1) Rudolf Elmer has committed the gravest of sins: to violate Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws. 2) Wikileaks has gotten more oxygen: compromising data. Should we be interested? Well, Tax evasion is 3) an illegal practice and that those caught evading taxes are generally subject to criminal charges and substantial penalties.

Many people in the right of the political spectrum are bothered by Wikileaks' constant noise and media attention. They should stick to their libertarian instincts and praise an organization that actually exposes government and corporate wrongdoing. A mature democracy depends on having an educated and informed electorate. There should be consensus that the actions of government and the state, as well as the competing political interests to exercise political power, should be underpinned by critical scrutiny and informed debate facilitated by the media.
  
Wikileaks is part of a new phenomenon that has to do with the disappearance of the traditional press as we know it. 2 However, that should not -and will not- contradict the basic assumption that there is no true democracy without a free press.  

Since 2007, Wikileaks has made public a huge amount of classified documents: the so-called Afghan War Diarya controversial video of an American Helicopter strike on Reuters journalists, the Iraq War Logs and Cablegate last November. The sheer amount of information and the manner in which it has been obtained has shocked everyone and redefined the rules of the game.


Take note: something must be going on when Muammar Gaddafi, a dictator of Lybia for 40 years, calls Wikileaks "an evil organization." 3

What I'm talking about can be put in terms of a balance between liberal economy and morals. If democracy is, in the words of Lincoln in his Gettysburg address, "of the people, by the people, for the people," one can make a reasonable argument that it is in the best interest of the people to know when that covenant is broken, or put into doubt.

Transparency and accountability are essential for the functioning of democracy. 
_____
1 This case already has a history:  It started as a complaint filed in the Northern District of California by Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd. (BJB) and its Cayman Islands unit against Wikileaks, claiming that the defendants unlawfully published confidential and counterfeit documents belonging to the bank. The plaintiffs sought the return of the documents in question, allegedly stolen from BJB by a disgruntled former employee, as well as the removal of those documents from defendants' Web sites. Wikileaks contended that the documents revealed illegal financial transactions and tax evasion by the bank, while BJB asserted that they contained confidential information belonging to the bank and its customers and that some of the documents had been altered. What happens next is that federal district court judge Jeffrey White granted the plaintiff relief in the form of a permanent injunction requiring Dynadot, based in San Mateo, California, to lock and disable the Wikileaks.org domain name on February 15, 2008. But the court's order met criticism on several grounds, including constitutional: The permanent injunction was widely condemned as excessive, particularly because the directive to Dynadot blocked an entire Web site on the basis of a dispute relating to a small portion of its content. Critics likened the order to the Pentagon Papers case in which the Supreme Court famously refused a request from the Justice Department to enjoin publication of articles based on documents illegally leaked from the Defense Department. 2Whatever the causes for such crisis, this is how Steve Coll for New America Foundation puts it:
The rate of destruction of professional journalism -and its output of independent reporting on American public institutions and on international affairs- is far outpacing the ability of new institutions to reproduce what is being lost, particularly in its civic functions. Secular and cyclical economic forces have suddenly combined to dismantle the business models that have for decades supported independent, public-minded reporting for large general audiences about local and state government, Congress, the executive branch, and international affairs. According to one organization that tracks newspaper job losses, the industry shed an estimated 15,970 jobs in 2008 and 8,484 through April of this year. The rapid and large-scale loss of independent reporting by many of these professionals, without any prospect of its replacement by new institutions in the foreseeable future, is an urgent matter of public interest.
Which makes Gadaffi less original than George W. Bush! When will we have enough of evil rhetoric?

40 comments:

Andrea Bingham said...

Freedom of speech is an essential part of our democracy. It is embedded in the very fabric of our freedom. A part of freedom of speech is freedom of the press. Wiki leaks is a kind of catch 22 that brings freedom of the press into the forefront to be scrutinized by critics and law makers alike on whether freedom of the press or the safety of our government is more important. On one hand, some critics and law makers view Wiki leaks as simply expressing their rights to free press. On the other hand, some critics and law makers view Wiki leaks as a danger tot he safety of our country as a whole by leaking documents that, in the wrong hands, could threaten our government.
The former senior Swiss bank executive, Rudolf Elmer's leak of tax evasion and other possible criminal activity on the part of politicians and other prominent society members is a testament to the latter. News about federal crimes committed by elected officials should be brought into the light so the perpetrators could be punished and to detour other officials from partaking in similar activities. However, the former executive has torn a very delicate fabric of secrecy that Swiss banks share with their clients.

A.B said...

Por que no esta en Tumiami?

Amilcar

ABIGAIL said...

To be honest this is the first time I heard about wikileaks. I'm very impressed with all the information I read and saw. It is sad to see that the people we suppose to trust are the one betraying us. For intances, the video "colateral murder" is the bitter truth of what really war brings to human kind, insensibility to other's pain.
On the other hand, the swiss bank situation is a prove that "those who are determined to be rich fall into temptation". Therefore, I think that all this powerful people should be punish as anyone else who has committeed a crime. Wikileaks sould continue informing us with the reality surranding us. Nonetheless, I also have some doubts about how genuine is the information. Eventhough, wikileaks called itself a “nonprofit organization" there is always a question hanging. who is really behind and what does it gain from all this?

Benny Salas said...

They should have called the it 'WowItLeaks"....... amazing how what we think is in darkness finds a way to expose itself in the most unpredictable times. So we have a Banker revealing the truth about what is really going on behind the scenes and we automatically count him to be a villain amongst these would-be hero's who have lied, deceived and covered up their own folly. Im actually glad that someone had the guts to blow the whistle or in some case be the Whistleblower on people who have committed major crimes and offenses.

Unfortunately, we call this bad reporting or journalism, when in fact its probably the most organic in-your-face reporting that is not draped in false make belief world of ideologies.

How can we say that freedom of speech is the norm, if when we speak, we get shut-down. Yes, the truth is hurts, but as we all can admit, "The Truth Shall Set You Free"...... problem is, the Truth get's you locked up nowadays.....

-Benny

Markcalls Isidor said...
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Markcalls Isidor said...

Whatever happened to freedom of speech in this country which was our constitutional right? It seems that now if you even hint that there might be some corruption going on, you either get your name slandered or be placed in jail. Wiki leaks even though is highly scrutinized by politicians, I believe they should exist because they are trying to give us stories that the mainstream media will not talk about. I think it is about time what's done in the dark shall come out to light. For all the financial woes that is happening globally, I believe that there is a group of individuals that are behind it. Albeit if it’s the governments of the world or not, they are the ones we chose to be our leaders. It is about time that they do their job. No one is above the law even if it is the leader of the U.N or a third world country leader, when a crime is done you should suffer the consequences just like normal citizens.

swampthing said...

for truth analysis read glenn greenwald.
for wiki the boogyman coverage watch teevee.

Estela said...

How can a Dictator like Gaddafi state that weak leaks is “an evil organization” in my opinion it is because wrong doers like him, other politicians and government officials don’t want to have their dark secrets of past events come to light. The only ones that have problems with wiki leaks are most likely the individuals who have been stealing from the government and people, individuals that are doing fraud, and officials who don’t want the truth to come out about wars and selfish acts. How can a bank from the U.S file a complaint about wiki leaks stating that it unlawfully published documents that belonged to the bank. What happened to the freedom of individuals and journalism that was created in 1776 by our founding fathers? The only thing wiki leak is doing is something that has barely been done before reveal the truth. How can the people practice their freedoms of speech when every time someone does say something they get shut down or sued? Why are people that are involved in the political spectrum bothered by the noise and attention wiki leaks brings? Does it bother those individuals that the truth about them are coming out and since when is the truth bad? In my opinion I hope that wiki leaks can continue to reveal the true criminals out there and show potential wrong doers that there are individuals out there who will not tolerate lies and betrayal. Maybe we can show the world that there are truth seekers out there that will not hesitate to reveal the truth and show the world the truth, hopefully wiki leaks can continue to reveal the truth and bring people to justice.

Kian said...
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Kian said...

Swiss banks are, and have always been all about tax evasion + someone exposes Swiss bank account tax evasion, other questionable activity = nothing solved, for now. because what is happening is an attempt for mainstream press to acknowledge that it’s going on, that’s it’s wrong, and that it should stop. I think it will be an ongoing process. It has never been any secret that Switzerland is a place to have a no-questions-asked bank account and do as you please with it. What Mr. Elmer and Mr. Assange are doing is a new solution to an old “problem”, they are addressing it by making it something for people to look at and question (I use quotations for ‘problem’ because it seems many people in the Western world don’t view it as one). They are opening a door to criticize the greedy practices in these banks that actually do affect the world in negative ways. Among many other corrupt rulers that have stacked wealth for themselves, Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe nabbed the nation exchequer and stuck it in a Swiss bank account. http://tinyurl.com/4swjwhc

Kian Seara

Shondra Miller said...

This is a prime example of “what’s done in the dark shall come to the light.” Wikileaks are just exposing what many have known for years. That Switzerland banks are the go-to-banks in order to not catch the federal government’s attention on large amounts of money. According to the article, “Rudolf Elmer has committed the gravest of sins: to violate Switzerland's strict banking secrecy laws.” If no crime has been committed Rudolf’s testimony wouldn’t be valid and no “gravest of sin” would be committed. In a lawsuit, Wikileaks contended that the documents revealed illegal financial transactions and tax evasion by the bank. Under constitutional law Wikileaks have the right to freedom of press to shine light on such acts the individuals that are trusted to do right by its citizens. Government’s officials have blind sided and manipulated us citizen. For those politicians, prominent individuals and companies that are involved of tax evasion should and needs to expose and brought upon on criminal charges and penalties.

Reyniel Hernandez said...

I definitely believe that Wikileaks is doing a tremendous job informing everybody about all this bogus things our leaders are doing, instead of leading by example. Hopefully their source is reliable because there is a lot of information out there published by Wikileaks, especially linking United States government and their action in foreign countries. Also I believe that the site has opened a Pandora’s Box because it has opened many people’s eyes, but also has reveals very serious secrets that reveals the double identity of many powerful politician and entrepreneurs of different countries. I hope they keep the site up and running to reveal more information about the world.

diana said...

Freedom of Speech, Press, Religion, and Petition is the first amendment of the Bill of Rights. As far as I am concern Wikileaks is not doing anything wrong. Wikileaks is just reviling some classified information that other press identities were unable to provide to the public. Could be because they were afraid of the consequences it would bring to their future. In my opinion what wikileaks is trying to do is to open our eyes in a way that no media did before. Of course this is a very delicate subject because it could bring the fall of our great empire. Knowing the crimes that politicians do and the fact that they can get away with it, makes the whole nation doubt about the loyalty and trust for their government. I think this is the only reason many politicians despite Wikileaks.
I was not surprise at all to read about the tax evasion news on the site. I am sure they have done it for many years and the only reason no one wanted to say anything was because very powerful politicians and businessmen were involved in these crimes. If you happen to be a no body trying to avoid taxation you will be punished right away. Therefore, the law should apply for everyone equally regardless of his or her status.
Diana Hernandez

vivian.caro001 said...

Wikileaks, quite controversial lately, leaks have often happened throughout history, but never in such an open way, has it told me that there is a high level of intolerance, when it comes to covering substantial information up. The press and its freedom is supposed to do its job, however, hidden evidence, often political, manages to find a place in the dark. Therefore wikileaks, to certain extend, has a positive regard, conveying information that we should be aware of.
The Swiss Bank, for instance, has been a paradise for the so known “Mafiosos” from around the world, all its secrecy and bunker like security, is not longer there, wikileaks has contributed to bringing some of those facts to light.
The so-called Afghan war, there in, some visual facts of the atrocities to what Mr.Gaddafi has been so committed to, in his 40 years dictatorship. I would like to think that I live in an era where “Ad hominem” is just a choice. VC

Mitchell said...

When i looked into wikileaks i felt as though even though many people may disagree with it or hate how it puts peoples buisness out there, but in my opinion, if your doing something wrong and someone says something you can't really respond by going around complaining. The swiss banker was doing it because he felt that someone needed to know, and in my opinion he was right. I understand that they do take out alot for taxes but thats because those people make enough to spare. We as a nation should be able to know anything our government knows. I know some stuff cant be let out for security reasons, but this isnt a matter of safety, this has to do with greed and people trying to hide it. We have a right to know, and now wikileaks lets us.
-Mitchell Alvarez

Michelle Mazoleny said...

Even the most powerful most come down. Wikileaks just shared what they wanted to be heard . Prominent leaders like dictator Muammar Gaddafi call wikileaks an evil organization, how ironic. In my opinion wikileaks is just using there freedom of press and freedon of speech to let the public know how big top prominent leaders can make mistakes and get away with it. But on the other hand the average joe cannot do the same. The court condemns Wikileaks for putting classified documents on there site. I had not even heard of wikileaks before this article but think they were just letting the public know about news. The brave ex-employee of the bank that gave wikileaks all the information on the 2,000 leaders and companies that avoided tax evasion and were in the wrong doing did what ought to be done. Leaders are supposed to be the role models of society so why not show the public that there role models sometimes do wrong.
Michelle Mazoleny

Elysion Legacy said...

If informing the people of truth is a sign of evil or malicious behavior, then wouldn't that mean that lying is a sign of good and benevolent behavior?
Call me old fashioned but I prefer the truth over lies, any day. I want to know what is REALLY going on in my society and world. I have a brother in the army who is fighting to protect our nation, yet he is being lied to? Who knows what else we are all blind folded about! It scares me to think that those in high power have done a lot of dark and sinister things to the people who they say they represent. I approve of wikileaks for informing the people of what they deserve. The truth.

-Adrian Garcia

npaez1081 said...

If indeed it is true that over 2000 people were found engaged in tax evasion and other crimes the best is to go by the law. If most of us do the right thing and follow every step to stay clear of any felonies, why they can’t do the same. What in this case is the difference between one group and the other? Everyone that lives in the United States obtain the same rights. Some people have certain believes, believes that they create in their minds; like this one in this case. Why will someone think that they can get away with crimes and think that they will never get caught? I believe that is does not matter for how long anyone keeps a secret at the long run the truth always comes out and then you will have to respond to the consequences. I’m glad this out in the open because this way these individuals know that something is coming their way. The U.S gives us freedom and rights and like these individuals they take advantage and abuse the law. Many can take the great benefits of this country for granted. Nora...

Norma Zeron said...

In all honesty, I have never heard of Wikileaks until I started my Philosophy class. I am the type of person who dislikes reading the news and informing me with what’s going out there. But Wikileaks has actually changed my mind. Not only does Wikileaks give us true information but it’s very interesting. It’s not like other papers that make up things just to spice up the story but it informs you of what’s actually going on around the world. Wikileaks has the right of freedom of speech, just like everyone else is entitled to their opinion. They have the right to inform the people with what’s happening. It’s not Wikileaks fault that the truth hurts. This is why people get mad because Wikileaks doesn’t make false stories, their stories are accurate.

-Norma Zeron

florencia said...

Well, Rudolf M. Elmer can kiss his life as he knows it goodbye. Certainly, a disloyal but courageous man, whom I do not think have a sudden change of heart, but a change of change in his bank account and that is why he came forward. Beyond his reason, the truth is that this new piece of information not only affects the almighty reputation of the Julius Baer bank and the 2,000 prominent individuals and companies involved, it does also bring into question the reliability of the most secure and private banking system in the world and as does so with many political parties’ nature.
No wonder the right feels annoyed by the constant poking of WikiLeaks. Let us remember they are known for taking control of the media, therefore mandating what “news” are we to receive. They should go back to their original beliefs: Nowadays it seems Lincoln’s words were adapted to “…of CERTAIN people, by CERTAIN people, for CERTAIN people.” They need to stop acting so confused and full of excuses but that is another topic. Ahem…Sorry.
If WikiLeaks continues to be shutdown so should be Fox News channel among others then. Even if WikiLeaks is not traditional Journalism, does not means that it is worst of what we currently have. I want and deserve to know information coming from different sources since, clearly, it is hard to know who to trust.
I understand the concern about the leakage of important data that could put our security at risk and used to harm us but, in all fairness, I think I learnt how to successfully kill someone by watching forensic shows; I probably could make Crystal Meth at home if I try thanks to some other show, and if I were in the terrorist business I would use to my advantage all the tips given by the news about our airports security and emergency drills. I am not trying to be sarcastic; I am just trying to be realistic. WikiLeaks’ leakage is a risk that I am willing to take for truth.
About taxes, we should all know by now that you do not mess with Uncle Sam or any other uncle in other parts of the world. Hopefully, the perpetrators will get punish as we, regular Joes and Janes, would.
On another note, We should remember the dangers of having our press controlled by the government. Without going too many decades behind or continents across, I think of my beloved Argentina’s “dictadura”, Fidel in Cuba and Chavez in Venezuela: The media is the way to the masses and alternative forms of press like WikiLeaks is the masses way to exercise freedom.

florencia said...

Florencia aka Maria Nieves. Sorry...

Christopher Paulino said...

This is the first time that I actually looked at this sites information and I'm amaze of the things that this organization is putting on the web, the whole tax evasion is nothing new but i do enjoy how they posted all that information on wikileaks. I think finally the law will take action on these individuals now that it has become a popular issue. I understand that a site like this may either help or destroy us. how can it help us? well it can help us understand more about our government, and i used the word destroy us because anyone with internet may have this information. what would happen if this information is read by a enemy of the united states, information as to our military power, strategies etc. This site would be great if it gave us only information that would make our government better such as the list of the prominent individuals and companies that could possibly try to evade taxes. If i have to pay taxes then i believe that everyone should pay them as well. im not 100% sure what does the government do with our taxes but i bet the economy of the states would change.

Christopher Paulino T 5:40

Stphn3711 said...

The only time I have seen the name WikiLeaks is when I'm on Wikipedia so until this post, it never crossed my mind for more than a minute. After reading this post, I went on the site and checked it out. It's amazing the massive information they have but I can't help but wonder if this is where conspiracy theroists go to validate their concepts or ideas. Yes, we do need to know what is going on with the people we put in charge of our government but should we trust everyone with this information? Or should we instead filter it with a need-to-know basis?

alexander barreira said...

It is the first time I heard about the Wikileaks and is very interesting the job he is doing. I had to begin reading many articles to come with an idea of this comment. First, freedom of speech is a fundamental or one of the principles rights of this country. There are many things in the dark, and society should know this to function better because if we continue like this, people with power are going to be more delinquent every day. People with power try to hide all the information for their own interest and keep their power over us, and we have to fight against that.

Henrique said...

Nowadays it is really difficult to determine who is telling the truth. The government is always trying to claim its innocence, and they expect the people to always put faith on them and back them up. Tax evasion has been happening for many centuries and I do not believe that it will end now. I do not know who is behind the whole wikileaks project and I am also not sure how credible their information is; however, most of the data seems to be trustworthy since it caused such an impact over the news. I find it interesting how these banks want to claim their privacy over their clients, when the people lost most of our privacy after 9/11. I believe that whenever illegal activities are acknowledged for further investigation then the bank should release it with no privacy since justice needs to be done for those that do not abide the law. I really hope that more organizations and people would come out to release important information about people abusing the law. These incidents should be addressed and solved like any other unlawful activity. We live in a democracy and it is the right of the people to pursue freedom of speech and the press.

Henrique Rodrigues

Llompart said...

Raw facts can be presented in a way so to lead someone to a certain conclusion. Omission of details can create a completely different meaning or giving certain other details can cause harm. While I won't go as far as Qaddafi to generalize Wikileaks as altogether evil, I can't compare it to real journalism. In what I consider to be journalism a reporter goes through the process of uncovering the whole story, not just shocking bits of truth. A reporter finds out the context, puts together the facts they have acquired and determines what is really happening, what the real story is. It seems that Wikileaks simply finds the juiciest piece of information, the more inflammatory the better and then spreads it to every corner it possibly can. Now while I can see the value in this to some extent I believe that information is power and not something that should always be shared. After all don't we all keep certain things private that we don't want others to know because of our safety such as where we live or our banking information. On the other side of the coin, though not a good example of journalism Wikileaks should be free to disclose whatever information they choose to. The only time they should come under scrutiny is if they themselves or any affiliates break a countries laws in doing so. If countries have secrets that they need to preserve in order to keep their civilians safe than they should do so. If they allow an entity such as Wikileaks to get a hold of it than thats their loss.

-Christian Llompart
T 5:40

Adam Busshaus said...

I don't have any problem with Wikileaks releasing information as long as it doesn't put any innocent people in danger. Many people do not want to see American helicopters firing on civilians, however if that is what happened, and it is the truth than people should be able to see the video themselves and make their own judgement. I have no sympathy for "pillars of society" that are guilty of committing tax evasion or other crimes. Journalism should not be punished for simply displaying the truth.

Juliana said...

The publication not only of the diplomatic documents but also of many other videos and documents in the Wikileaks web page open the debate if this organizationge a positive and negative effect in society. Even though, Wikileaks is protected by the first amendment, the publication of confidential information constitutes a risk in the foreign relations field. These documents are considered diplomatic documents that treat sensitive matters and for this reason, they have to be handling with care to avoid harming another countries or civilians. In the case of the publication of the documents, I think that wikileaks was irresponsible because endanger the international relations of the countries that were involved in this issue. In general, I support the idea that people has the right to be informed of the actions of the government but it is also truth that a minimum of confidentiality has to be protected to avoid future menaces. It is sometimes essential that the government keep some information secret precisely to protect the life of people. For example the document in which France talk about the process of negotiating the release of hostages in Iran. In this case, the publication of that information can affect the process and even endanger the life of innocent people. In my opinion, Wikileaks used to be a responsible web that provides accurate information, but with this publication, the impact that generates was more negative than positive. However, the US government need to learn something from this scandal; has to be more aware of protecting the confidential information because today was Wikileak tomorrow cam be another organization that disclose important information and becomes the next great historical leak of the world.

Juliana Canon de la Rosa

nadelson said...

Wikileaks is “Big Brother’s” best opponent. Wikileaks is taking on the big governments and their allies (big business) and exposing their evil secrets to the general population. The humanizing of these corporations and governments helps point to the need of the western civilization to stop pressing the “I believe button” and start questioning their actions. To this day I am not aware of any information being released that has endangered any person’s life, I may be incorrect. I am very sure that Wikileaks has information that could endanger lives, by not releasing this information they are doing a noble deed by being civil. What Wikileaks is doing is becoming the moderator that everyone listens to because they are no one’s true ally to governments.
-Thaddeus Nadelson

Lazaro said...

I first heard of WikiLeaks in this class. While I don’t like the fact that many reporters have lost their jobs recently and it might have a little to do with WikiLeaks the truth is that they have been outshined by this website. What Rudolf did is wrong and I think he should be disciplined. The information is already out in the open so it should be investigated. The idea that the people we elected to lead this country and make it a better place are this corrupt disgusts me. WikiLeaks has proven that our government officials have a freedom that perhaps needs to be evaluated. All the individuals as well as Rudolf need to pay for their actions.

Laura said...

Wikileaks is definitely going to change the way governments handle internal affairs and the way they view technological advances. Like the Nazis burned their records of horror, contemporary governments are going to have to figure out a way to dispose of their wrongdoings. Wikilieaks has opened a Pandora's box which will never be closed again. It has sneaked into the intimate corners of those who commit embarrassing deeds. Wikileaks is like “Big Brother” watching. But instead of watching civilians, he takes the role of exposing what is meant to remain unexposed. There is no secret bank account in Switzerland, or clean war actions. Wikileaks marked a precedent in new age communications, and I believe that even if its silenced new variations of it will come along. It opened a window into the truth of, “well-kept secrets”, and this new generation will surely take advantage of it.

Laura Vargas

Tania Gabriela said...

Freedom of speech is our constitution right. As you say it professor “ there is no true democracy without free press.”. I believe it is something good that Wikileaks is making all of this information, come out to the light. Politicians should be tranquil with the idea of bringing transparency and truth to their governments. Learning these powerful people in politics are constantly bothered by the media attention and Wikileaks only makes it more suspicious. They obviously have a lot to hide. It is true that the wrong information in the wrong hands could create a lot of damage. People should use their morals and consider the consequences (will it bring good or bad?) before exposing the information. I believe that was Rudolf M. Elmer has done is great, because although he is going against the law, this is a question of principle. We need someone to stand up and expose the wrong doing and illegal practices from politicians and important people of society.

Tania Torres

Gabriela Duron said...

First of all, I believe that we can’t state an opinion without knowing the whole information and both points of views. I do agree in the liberty of speech of WikiLeaks. But also what is the tax regulation in Switzerland? Obviously is completely different than the one in the United States if not all these 2000 of people wouldn’t have put their money in that specific bank. If therefore, tax evasion has been committed then it should be prosecuted by the law. Justice should be made on everyone rich or poor.

katherine said...

In my opinion, I welcome each new development with open arms. Many people, as we stated in class fear the idea that our government may be hiding important information from us, these true facts regarding our government become difficult for us believe because we put our trust in them. With every new piece of information, which we as citizens of this country should inform ourselves about, we open up a realization that may cause us to question our democracy. Is the United States truly for the people, by the people? Is our representative merely just a puppet who is given a script to present before us? We have adapted to being fed stories from the media, in a ruthless attempt at keeping the crowed away and as Americans we lead such busy lives we fail to concern ourselves with what our government is doing to our country to us as people. We should take an interest in each current event involving big banks, dirty Politian’s and corrupt business people who mainly garnish our money, rights and power. My problem with this situation is that these people usually get away with their illegal actions and our government looks the other way. These types of people have power and the reason why is because we are ignorant. We don’t move to find out the source of the problem and many of us do not care to stop such corruption and this is why we having a falling nation.

Mina said...

vWe live in a democratic society, and we all have the right to say what is on our mind. There are many people who are against WikiLeaks because of the things they are publishing.I personally aprreciate their job and desire to let us know whats going on in the world around us. We cannot be blind and live in a fairytales.
The real truth always comes out!

Mima Hajdukovic

NubiaG said...

Reading about Wiki leaks for the first time, I can't help but to question the credibility and purpose of the information given. The recent case of ex swiss banker that provided Wiki leaks with a list of 2000 names including politicians engaged in tax evasion, I wonder if the true intention of such leak is to contribute to instability of our country with the exposure of politicians. On the other hand, if indeed government officials and companies are involved, they need to be pay for their crimes. We are evolving to the "Information Age" but to maintain the security of our country, the information must be pass on to qualified agencies to verify credibility before it reaches the people and creates disbelief in our government.

Jessica Espinoza said...

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of WikiLeaks, but reading this post definitely makes me want to look more into it. Tax evasion, among other crimes, has been happening for ages and it wouldn’t surprise me if politicians and “pillars of society” have always been among the biggest offenders. I think that this type of exposure is just what the public needs to see in order to realize who we are taking direction and advise from. Now, I’m not saying that all politicians and business men are corrupted (at least I would like to believe not) but, we should have the right to know who among these men or women are going against the law and values of our country. As far as I’m concerned, If not abused, WikiLeaks is doing us a favor by trying to give us the ability to exercise a freedom we, sometimes, tend to ignore.

Mario Salas said...

It should come as no surprise that a Swiss bank would hide such illegal wrong doings of their clients. For many years they have been the go to place, not exclusively though. There are banks in the Caribbean, Central and South America that do the same thing. It’s to bad that something like a phrase from Voltaire, “ I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, has no meaning to them. All they care about is making sure their clients interests are protected so they can keep getting a huge cut of money from those breaking the law. Then again if they thought that way they would be out of business. Rudolf Elmer is a hero in my book. Did he break Swiss banking law? Yes he did, but he did it for the right reasons I believe.

Mario Salas

charles bello said...

As I watch the presidential state of the union, the president comes to a juncture where he places emphasis on
"information" and states that we live in the information age.
He stressed the idea that he wants our people to be connected and informed.
Wiki leaks is what connects us to an otherwise, clendestine and blacked out information pool.In my short exsistence
I have not come across an organization as blunt and fearless as Wiki leaks and I for one LOVE IT. I dont get that
scripted double speech-esque feel from Wiki leaks. Furthermore, the numbers published by Steve Coll
regarding the number of professional journalism losing their jobs is frightening! We pay these peoples salaries
and the reason they are elected is for our benefit of we the people. We should be able to acess information regarding
the shady moves these top officials are making. I feel as if we are constantly being watched and told what to do
and how to do it and when to do it, but who is watching them? If they feel watched they will act within the confines
of the law. As far as Swiss banking laws being broken, who cares! I dont even comprehend how such secretive banking laws
can exist. It's just another politicians scapegoat if you ask me. -Charles Bello

khurtado88 said...

Wikileaks has evolved as a source of “the go to” newspaper, caused by media frenzy to further expose and dismantle government officials, independent and private business violating and aiding to the corruption in our judicial system. Every source used to expose and informe the public is due to our country democracy belief. Now, to put in question or hide this privilege "we people of the unites states" have is irresponsible and within the violation of our prinicple rights as , "we the people " in this country have long enjoined and exercise daily. Whether this exposure to politicians and other public figues or entity taints their reputation it'f up for society to judge. The truth shall come to light sooner or later!

Katiana H.